tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC April 26, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT
and thanks for being with us. your bonus is craig melvin. >> we always enjoy being in your fine city. thanks for your hospitality. good afternoon, from washington, d.c. craig melvin here. a busy day in the nation's capital, where we are expecting some potentially big news. the white house behi, perhaps e the president will debut principles of what they are calling the biggest proposed tax cut in history. it's one of the white house events dotting the political
landscape and this week, the president trying to put a stamp on the first 100 days that has seen few major legislative successes and a slue of bad poll numbers. let's start with kelly o'donnell behind me at the white house. let's start with kacie hunt on capitol hill with breaking news on health care. what do we know at this point? >> reporter: well, craig, what we know is that the freedom caucus has said that they are in favor and supportive of this compromise that we have been talking about over the course of the last week or two around health care that could clear the way for this obamacare repeal and replacement legislation, the american health care act, to get the 216 votes that it would need on the house floor to go forward. we are still waiting the tuesday group, one of the groups of moderate members here in the house. they're meeting behind closed
doors in the capitol basement. in the freedom caucus has said that they are on board with this, it's not clear that house leaders would need the votes of these moderate members in order to pass this bill, if that's what they want to go ahead and do. we were just talking with congressman barton from texas. he was previously a no. now he is a yes on this legislation, with these changes. i know we've talked about the substance of this. but just to recap a little bit on what this compromise would do, it would allow states to waive certain parts of obamacare, including those essential health benefits, things like emergency care, maternity care, with the goal of lowering premiums. it would allow insurers to charge people with preexisting conditions more money for their health insurance if the state had a high risk pool. so it would make some substantial changes to the insurance for people who live in state where is they elect to
take these waivers, craig. so, again, a major development here. we're not sure yet what the timeline on a potential vote might be. we're still talking to leadership aides to get a sense this is just coming out here in the last few minutes. one thing driving this change, the third party outside conservative groups, like the club for growth coming out and saying we're willing to get on board with this compromise. that's been something that's been a sticking point and makes a different to these freedom caucus members. >> craig? >> kacie, keep us honest. kelly o., break down what we're expecting to hear roughly 30 minutes from now. we are being promised principles of tax reform, not necessarily the full details. >> reporter: the white house is just beginning to brief some of the key officials in washington on the plan, and that, of
course, is just on the heels or to be able to push this out today. what we are told is there will be a reduction in the corporate tax rate and also changes that will affect the tax bill for individuals. that doesn't necessarily mean rate changes, but changes in the components of how we file our taxes that would, in effect, give people a lower liability for a tax bill. so in the end, that means more money in your pocket. all of these things have to be with a big caution, that this is a proposal from the white house. it is coming during the 100 days week, the leadup of all of the sort of trying to shine a light on the big direction the white house wants to take in the absence of legislative achievements. this would require congress and probably months of debate, hearings, and work to bring it to fruition. so this is an unveiling. this is a wish list from the treasury department and the trump white house about what they want to see happen. and some of this is about
simplifying the tax code. some of it is about directing money back into the pockets of what they say are middle class americans. and then for companies, changing how they would be affected by the tax code in a way to try to encourage more business sf stimulation in the country, more growth that would lead to jobs. at the same time, there are kerns abo concerns about u.s. companies that have moneys overseas, with the intention of bringing that back. economists will debate how effective that will be, the impact on a deficit is a consideration, especially for conservatives. but this is a rollout with a big ribbon on it. so it's a starting point, not the end of the line. craig? >> kelly o'donnell for us, just a few feet behind me at the white house. kelly o., thank you. let's bring in am rosa, communication director for the white house. good to see you. i know you have to get over here for this unveiling at 1:30.
we'll get to the tax reform, but you acted as a bridge between the black community and this administration. we know that the president met with presidents of hbcu back in february, but there was this meeting a few weeks ago as i understand it, the congressional black caucus, seven members showed up for this meeting. >> it was their leadership, not the entire body. >> why hasn't this president been able to do what he said he would be able to do, which is bridge the gap between his party and black voters specifically? >> who's to say he hasn't? >> he has if >> this is the beginning. i'm talking to you on day 96, and we have done incredible things within the first 96 days, not just the president signing the executive order for hbcus to move the initiative back to the white house, the thing he did for flint, $100 million to help them with their water crisis, sending me directly down to haiti because of his concern
what's happening on the ground, the concern of what's happening in africa and trying to eradicate aids, somewhat's happening in chicago and inner cities. >> but he hasn't been to chicago yet, he hasn't visited -- >> we're looking forward to going to chicago. >> going bab to the hbcu thing. dr. wilson said after the meeting, one of the great disappointments was that the president's deeds didn't match his actions or words. they were expecting an increase in federal funding. they did not get that. >> he said that before the budget, and i understand he no longer represents moorehouse, so we'll take that for what that is. but i will tell you that a majority of the lhbcu president are excited. that president trump brought them all to the table to discuss the things important to them. >> let's talk about the tax plan
that's supposed to be unveiled. we don't have all of the details at this point, but we know that we can expect individual rates to come down, according to white house officials. and we're also told that there will be a corporate business tax cuts, small businesses, large businesses, 15%. what is this tax plan going to mean for the average american, for average working class folks, lots of whom voted for this president? >> i talked to gary kuhn this morning. it's going to boost the economy and create millions of jobs. he said, you're going to be able to do your taxes on one page. simplifying the tax code, which is totally burdensome. i'm excited to see the changes, and i'm excited this is something that this president is tackling within the first 100 days. >> the plan would, according to lots of tax experts, blow a hole in the deficit. some have suggested --
>> mothose are the same experts that said donald trump wouldn't be president. >> you don't have to possess a degree in economics to talk about if you give money back to folks, you have to pay for it somehow. what is the white house's plan to pay for a multitrillion dollar tax cut? >> first and foremost, i'm not going togary cohen. this will allow the president to lay out what he's going to do. >> day one, he was going to repeal and replace. that's not happened. >> but it may be happening even as we're sitting here. can we acknowledge that? >> his immigration proposals held up at courts. no wall. >> border crossings are down -- >> he promised a construction wall. >> $100 million for infrastructure defense that he took that was surplus that he's
now allotted to border protection. >> he has a republican house, a republican senate. there's not been one major legislative victory so far. why is that? >> i think you are probably trying to compare him to past presidents. if you look at that, not clinton, not bush, not h.w., not w., not barack obama had a major legislation exception of barack obama and the stimulus bill. >> another issue facing the administration, "the washington post" this morning, it seems as if this administration is having some difficulty getting folks into jobs. i want to put the graphic up here. 26 positions, including cabinet secretaries have been approved by the senate so far. as "the washington post" reports, 530 other vacancy jobs requiring senate confirmation, the president has just advanced 37 nominees.
why has the administration been unable or perhaps unwilling at this point to fill those positions? >> i think we have to look at the dems on the hill who are holding up -- look -- >> he's not even putting up names. >> that is not true. the process of nominating, and i can speak firmly on this, because my previous job in the white house was presidential personnel. you have to be able to submit those to the congress for them to vote on them, to consider them and to go through the process. then these hearings have to be set. so i would ask the democrats to go ahead and allow us to have these hearings. >> i think you're talking about two separate things. we'll let that go. >> you had a chance to talk to the president at the african-american museum. you had the first chance to have the real dialogue, and you were impressed, you told me that myself. >> i would like another opportunity to sit down with the president. i'll let you work that out. congratulations, by the way. i know you're a newlywed.
two weeks now. you still got that marriage glow. >> i do. >> congratulations. thank you for your time. let's get back to the breaking news and talk about this possible deal on health care. we just heard from kacie hunt. i'm joined by congressman donovan, a member of the so-called tuesday group. bring us up to speed, if you can, sir. are we as close to a deal as it would seem? >> you know, i'm not too sure, craig. i'm not privy to the whip count or to who's changed from a no vote to a yes vote. all i can tell you is about myself, a lot of the proposals, the amendments, the modifications to the original plan didn't satisfy my concerns, being the only republican from new york city, i had concerns that affected my constituents uniquely. from what i've seen, none of those have been addressed in the current plan that we're looking forward to now. >> what were those concerns?
>> one of them is that there was a tax burden, which was a medicaid payment that was relieved of the upstate counties that was going to fall on new york city. i represent constituents from new york city. that was going to harm them without any benefit. new york state can't use the tax credits afforded to other places where it could help people pay for their own insurance. allowing insurance companies to charge senior citizens five times as much as they charge a young, healthy person. right now it's as three times as much. the current proposal allows companies to charge seniors five times as much as a young person, at a time when they live on limited incomes and many seniors are in need of health care now more than in their younger years. >> one of the things we learned over the last few months from the white house and lawmakers is you can't do tax reform if you haven't done health care. has that changed? we're expecting to get some sort
of tax proposal in 20 minutes. but you haven't done health care yet. >> what's coming out of the white house is a proposal of the president's policies. i have heard that too, craig, that there's such tax implications in the health care. if you relieve the individual mandate and don't penalize people who don't have health insurance, if you relieve the employers of the employer mandate, then you'll have gaps in income tax th, that will hav implications. so i've heard also you have to do health care first, just because it's going to have an impact on tax reform. >> let's talk about this tax reform plan. secretary mnuchin said it will be "the biggest tax cut in this country ice h country's history." how does that work and still stay revenue neutral? >> the economist also figure that out, but by lowering the corporate tax, it's stifling our
corporate tax. we have the largest corporate tax in the entire world at 38%. many of our companies invest overseas because of the profits they make over there. they get taxed at that country's corporate tax, not at america's. so lowering that corporate tax will stimulate jobs, making the individual tax forms easier, simpler, fairer, lowering the brackets of which people fall into, because their income. the theory is it will put more money into american's pockets. and allowing corporate -- look at how excited the markets have been since some of these proposals have been leaked out to the white house. the market is going through the roof. that shows confidence that the economy is going to get better and grow with these proposals that the president is putting forth and speaker ryan. >> even with the rosiest economic projections, you cut corporate tax rates, even if you cut them to 15%, which most folks don't suspect that will happen ultimately, 5%, 6% gdp
growth is what it would take to make this even close to revenue neutral. no economist that i've talked to has said that's even something that's possible. are you saying that's possible? >> i'm not an economist, craig, but i'm saying that's the theory behind a lot of these things. and i think one of the things also, if we could allow companies to repatriot money back to the country and use that money as an infrastructure pool, we'll see that money is spent in the united states rather than being spent overseas now. it will create jobs and repair our aging infrastructure. >> infrastructure, not something that's expected to be in that proposal today, though. which has a number of folks scratching their heads. congressman donovan from new york city, thank you for your time, sir. >> good to be with you, craig. thank you. we are just a few minutes away from president trump's big reveal of that new tax plan. we don't necessarily expect to
hear from the president himself. he's meeting with secretary of state rex tillerson around the same time. but secretary steve mnuchin is going to be there, scheduled to take that podium in the white house briefing room. when it happens, we will bring it to you live. and waiting on more presidential promises. >> i will be asking congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure of the united states. >> so it was one of his biggest promises on the trail. why has president trump not delivered on that huge investment in infrastructure so far? lding you back? break through your allergies. try new flonase sensimist instead of allergy pills. it's more complete allergy relief in a gentle mist you may not even notice. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist to help block six key inflammatory substances that cause your symptoms.
as we wait to hear more about president trump's tax plan in a few minutes, a plan many think democrats will have a hard time to support, there's one thing that could have been a slam dunk in his first 100 days, infrastructure. good to see you, jacob. >> residents of ft. smith, arkansas will be watch thing press conference very closely for any hint of infrastructure spending coming up in this tax plan. we expect just this hour from president trump's administration, that is because they're looking for the president to keep his promise on a massive infrastructure spending plan. we're talking $1 trillion.
something they think can turn their struggling economy around. take a look at this. >> what does it feel like to be back in here? >> pretty awesome. i remember all the activity of the people. a lot of the people have grown up here. >> reporter: for 32 years, sandy sanders worked for whirlpool here in arkansas. the company had 4500 employees at its peak, but in 2012, the plant closed for good. recently, it was bought by an out of town developer, specializing in struggling communities. today, sanders is the mayor of ft. smith. >> i can visualize where the lines were and see some of the people working. a lot of the people have grown up here, helped their kids go to college working here. it was a great place to work. >> reporter: the layoffs were not just at whirlpool. 12,000 lost manufacturing jobs here since 1999 is one reason
president trump won the region overwhelmi overwhelmingly. how would you describe the quality of life and what's going on here? >> i think the quality of life here is xe henlt aexcellent andg to continue to get better as we grow the things that keep young people here. >> reporter: what's your biggest priority as mayor? >> overall, our infrastructure needs. >> reporter: the mayor and others say there's one infrastructure project that would transform their fortunes. this is the first time i've ever been on a future spinterstate i my life. >> we hope to get this finished very quickly. we've been waiting for a while. >> reporter: where is that money going to come from? >> the president, of course. >> reporter: president trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. for just over $3 billion of those dollars, he could complete interstate 49, creating an
uninterrupted trade corridor that runs right through ft. smith. ivey owen helps lead a state coalition pushing to complete i-40. so this is it, that's the end of it right there. >> yeah. >> reporter: so all this stuff we're looking at right now is because of a highway. >> if the highway weren't here, we wouldn't be as far along as we are. even with only 6 1/2 miles of it completed, it's still generated a heck of a lot of development. >> reporter: so you just need to build the dang thing. >> we're ready to start. >> reporter: if you could tell the president why you think he should give you $3 billion to fini finish, what wauld you say in >> mr. president, you campaigned on jobs, finish thing highway would produce jobs. >> reporter: the resident there is are literally looking for this highway to drive them back into town. there is no north-south highway
that goes through ft. smith, arkansas. >> jacob, thank you. we are, again, just a few moments away from the unveiling of the trump administration's new tax plan. a look at the podium there. that is with treasury secretary steve mnuchin will address reporters, take some questions perhaps. he's calling it the biggest tax cut ever in american history. we'll find out how true that is, and what all of it could mean for your personal finances. over hereno!ver here! (dog barking) whoever threw it has to go get it. not me! somebody will get it... ♪
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live look here, white house briefing room. any moment we are expecting two of the top money men in the administration to talk taxes. not sure what that guy is doing there with the camera, but there's kristen welker. secretary steve mnuchin, director gary cohen will lay out the plan which the white house says it's going to be the biggest tax cut and tax reform plan ever. it is going to be huge. tim carney, by the way, editor for the washington examiner.
and jerry bernstein, former chief exist to vice president biden. douglas is standing by, currently president of the american action forum. stand by for me, if you can. let me start with you. jared, you've got some breaking news, if you will. >> i have a list of bullet points about what's in the proposal. on the personal side, providing tax relief for middle income families, i think that's going to be small. simplifying the tax code. help families with child care. i think they've improved their plan off of the ivanka plan a bit. and the alternative tax rate down from 25% to 5%. then on the business side, 15% corporate rate. that also could apply to
pass-throughs, moving to territorial on the international side. and a one-time tax for repatriation. that's not everything, but a lot of it. >> this is a little more specific than a lot of folks were expecting. what about the mortgage interest deduction? >> they're going to cap itemized deductions, but not that one. >> and a lot of -- i've been talking to people on the republican side. while there are specifics here, they're still generally seeing this as an opening bid. this guy is a deal maker. the most important thing, they want a 15% corporate tax rate, they want help for child care. and they're looking at some sort of tax reform. so you have tax reformers on the hill, and they're seeing if that's the framework, we'll go from there. so that's the republican action. >> what does this mean? some of this we're just getting in.
practical impact for some of this? >> so that's a couple of things. one is that it's not got anything that -- it less -- it relies on if you lower these taxes to 15%, it will generate activity that will create jobs. that remains to be seen. we have a long-term, relatively slow-growth situation in the united states. the way i describe it is that the united states is like a grown person. we're a mature economy, so you don't get growth spurts the way you do if you goose a young economy. india can do certain things, china can do certain things. america would have to do a lot to goose the economy. but i will say one thing, talking about lowering the corporate tax rate to 15%. 35% isn't what we pay. it's really about 27%, which puts us fully in line with all developed nations.
>> the point is a high rate with complexity is what saps economic growth. [ overlapping speakers ] >> i think we have to be extremely careful to buy into any of this. no tax cut has ever paid for itself through growth. that aren't to say there aren't some growth things we should tap, but according to the analysis i've seep so far, this proposal would lose $2.4 trillion over ten years by taking the rate down to 15%. you lose another $1.5 trillion by having this pass through loophole which goes down to 15%. that also helps donald trump. >> and this loophole you're talking about, these s corporations, these are also hedge funds.
>> the problem is, if you tell me i can go to my boss tomorrow and say you're no longer paying jared on the payroll, it's now jared burnstein llc, it's now 15%. >> douglas, on its face, how would you characterize this? >> i think there are three important points. the first is, and the president is saying it's important to do something. that's the threshold question. i'm glad to hear that. we're not competitive internationally. so doing something is important. the second thing is, it should be evaluated how much it improves growth. donald trump was sent to the white house to improve economic performance. then the third thing is, will it
be permanent? the best policies are permanent policies. to get those, you have to get 60 in the senate and have some democrats support this. i think that's unlikely. or you have to deal with the point jared brought up, which is this tax cut will not pay for itself. you'll have to find some base broadeners. >> it's interesting, tim, to a lot of folks. we heard from senator orrin hatch yesterday who basically said i may be okay with deficit and debt here in the short term if this is going to spur growth. republicans a year ago were screaming from the roof tops. >> so the idea that anybody cares about the deficit in washington, d.c., that any politician cares about the deficit has always been a myth. it's just a tool to hammer the other side, whether they want to spend more or tax less. this is why it's important to see this as an opening bid.
tax reform means cutting rates and closing loopholes. the ideas that businesses should be making decisions based on what's economically promising, not on gaming this loophole. so if trump isn't big on the loophole closures, that's what will come next with lawmakers. >> i will shout from the roof top, i care about deficits. i don't think we have to have anything like a balanced budget, but the unemployment rate is low, the economy is growing. we're going to need more revenues going forward, not less. if you simply look at the demographics, the fact that our elderly population is growing from 15% to 21% over the next 20 years, if you think about environment and geopolitics, infrastructure, we're going to immedia need more revenue, not less. >> why is infrastructure not part of this plan? >> infrastructure is one of those things, we talked about it years ago. it should be relatively
bipartisan, when done properly. and he was part of the last effort to do it with the stimulus. but when done properly, it's good for everyone, it improves business, creates jobs, and one can get creative how you fund infrastructure. it's kind of interesting, because we battled with health care. tax reform is going to come up against some problems. it's not easier than health care to do. we have a massive infrastructure problem in this country that we have to fix. >> sean spicer has taken to the podium there, franked by the treasury secretary and the gentleman who runs the council of economic advisers. let's listen in. >> two people here to explain it, director of our national economic council gary cohen is going to walk through why we're doing it, and secretary of the treasury steven mnuchin will walk through the business and
corporate side of what the president is doing to bring jobs back to this country to make our businesses more competitive and help our economy grow. at the end, we'll take questions on this. you are being provided a one-pager right now that provides the top level aspects of the plan, and then both the director and the secretary will go into further detail and take your questions. so without further ado, director gary cohen. >> thank you, sean. good afternoon, everyone. nouk for being here. this is quite a historic day for, and one we've been looking forward to and one we're very excited about. we have a once in a generation opportunity to do something really big. president trump has made tax reform a priority, and we have a republican congress that wants to get it done. this is something that, quite honestly, i hope the democrats would support too, because it's
good for the american people. the president is going to seize this opportunity by leading the most significant tax reform legislation since 1986, and one of the biggest tax cuts in the american history. we've been working on this for a long time. we've had great meetings, we had a great meeting last night with the leadership of the house and senate. we've fragreed on many importan principles with tax reform and we look forward working with the house and senate in the weeks ahead. the president has focused on three things. job creation, economic growth, and helping the low and middle income families left behind by this economy. he understands there are a lot of people in this country that feel like they work hard and they just cannot get ahead. they are sick of turning their paychecks over to washington and having no idea how those dollars are spent. they are frustrated by a tax
code that is so complicated, they can't even do their own taxes. that's why tax reform is such a big priority to this president. he cares about making the economy work better for all american people. here's a little history. when president kennedy cut taxes in the early 1960s, the top rate on personal income was over 90% and there was ram pant tax avoidance. and then 20 years later, president reagan took rates down to 28% for individuals. since then, rate has been creeping back up and more loopholes have made their way back into the tax code, disadvantaging average americans. then on the business side. when president reagan left office in 1988, the corporate tax rate was 34%, and it hasn't changed much since. for the last 25 years, other countries have been aggressively cutting their tax rates and moving to a territorial system
in order to attract business. and the u.s. has done none of that. in 2017, we are still stuck with a 1988 corporate tax. that's why we are now one of the least competitive countries in the developed world when it comes to corporate tax. so tax reform is long overdue. we're going to cut taxes for businesses to make them competitive and cut taxes for the american people, especially low and middle income families. today, i'm going to outline the principles we have put in place for personal tax reform. and then i'm going to hand it over to secretary mnuchin to talk about the business side. first, there are a few statistics for you on the individual side. in 1935, we had a one-page tax form consisting of 34 lines, with two pages of instructions. today, the basic 1040 form has 79 lines and 211 pages of
instructions. instead of a single form, the irs now has 199 tax forms on the individual side of our tax code. taxpayers spend nearly 7 billion hours complying with these tax codes every year, and nearly 90% of taxpayers need some help in filing their taxes. we're going to cut taxes and simplify the tax code by taking the current seven tax brackets we have today and reducing them to only three brackets. a 10% bracket, a 25% bracket, and a 35% bracket. we're going to double the standard deduction so that a married couple won't pay any taxes on the first $24,000 of income they earn. so in essence, we are creating a
zero tax rate for the first $ $24,000 that a couple earns. it also leads to simplificatios, so the tax form can go back, yes, to that one simple page that i talked about earlier. families in this country will benefit from tax relief to help them with child and dependent care expenses. we are going to repeal the alternative minimum tax. the amt creates significant complication and burdens, which require taxpayers to do their taxes twice, to see which is higher. that makes no sense and we should have one simple tax code. as we all know, job creation and economic growth is the top priority of the administration. nothing drives economic growth like capital investment. therefore, we're going to return the top capital gains tax rate to 20%, repealing the harmful
3.8% obamacare tax on dividends and capital gains. that tax has been a direct hit on investment income and small business owners. we're going to repeal the death tax. the threat of being hit by the death tax leaves small business owners and farmers in this country to waste countless hours and resources on complicated estate planning to make sure their children aren't hit with a huge tax when they die. no one wants to see their children have to sell the family business to pay an unfair tax. we're going to eliminate most of the tax breaks that are mainly benefits to high income individuals. home ownershi home ownership will be protected, but other tax benefits will be eliminated. this isn't going to be easy. doing big thing s never is. we'll be attacked from the left and right, but one thing is
certain, i would never, ever bet against this president. he will get this done for the american people. with that, i'm going to turn it over to secretary mnuchin to go through the business tax plan and we'll both come back and take questions. >> thank you, gary. we've been working on this plan for a very considerable period of time. and our objective is to make u.s. businesses the most competitive in the world. right now we have a 35% corporate rate on worldwide income and deferral. it is perhaps the most complicated and uncompetitive business rate in the world. not a surprise that companies leave trillions of dollars offshore. under the trump plan, we will have a massive tax cut for businesses, and massive tax reform and simplification. as the president said during the campaign, we will lower the
business rate to 15%. we will make it a territorial system. we will have a one-time tax on overseas profits, which will bring back trillions of dollars that are offshore to be invested here in the united states, to purchase capital and to create jobs. the president is determined to unleash economic growth for businesses. this is not just about large corporations. small and medium-sized businesses will be eligible for the business rate, as well. as gary said, we have had very productive meetings with the house and senate working weekly to get this done. we will continue to do that. we are determined to move this as fast as we can, and get this done this year. i would also just comment that we will hold listening sessions. one thing this president has done very well is listen.
we've had hundreds of business leaders here from all different types of areas. manufacturers, retail, airlines, community banks, big banks. we are listening and we have been taking feedback. finally, i would just add the president's objective is creating economic growth. and as we said before, we believe we can get back to 3% or higher gdp that is sustainable in this country. the overall economic plan consists of massive tax cuts and tax reform. regulatory relief, and renegotiating trade deals. and with that, we will unlock the economic growth that's been held paback for too long in thi country. with that, we would be happy to take a few questions. if the back. >> mr. secretary, when you talk about the individual tax rates, you're talking about eliminating
some of those tax breaks. are you talking about eliminating tax deductions and which ones are you talking about eliminating and keeping? >> all tax deductions other than mortgage interest and charitable deductions. we think that will be sweeping reform. >> when you talk about lowering the capital gains taxes, how does that mesh with what you said this morning about protecting the middle class from the very, very wealthy who might be able to take advantage of loopholes that would give them a better tax rate? >> what we said is the business rate is going to be available for small and medium sized businesses, as well as corporations. however, we will make sure that there are rules in place so that wealthy people can't create pass-throughs and use that as a mechanism to avoid paying the tax rate on the personal side.
i would just say on the dividend rates, restoring the 20% capital gains rate is critical to investment in this country? >> mr. secretary, similar question about the pass-throughs. the initial plan that the president as a candidate outlined also included freelance contract workers and 15% -- what is your rate on repatriation of funds from overseas, and what about the marriage penalty? >> first, a comment on the rate of repatriation. we're working with the house and senate, but it will be a very competitive rate to bring back trillions of dollars. as to the definition of contractors and things along those lines, those will be the details we will be working with congress on as we turn this into a bill to be typed by the president. >> as secretary mnuchin said, we are working very diligently with the house and senate on coming up with final details of the bill.
you're going into very microdetails on some of these. >> very important ones. >> we agree, very important. our basic premise here is to simplify the tax system, lower rates, and make it easy. penali people, we want to make the system very fair. that is one of the things on our list that we're going to work on just as secretary mnuchin said. we will get back to you with definitive answers on all these details. >> on the 10, 25 and 35% rates, do you have income brackets established you're going to impose on this? >> again, we are in constant dialogue with the house and senate. as the secretary said, we're holding a bunch of listening groups right now. we have outlines. we have a broad brush view of where they're going to be. we're running an enormous amount of data on the proposals right now. we will be back to you with very firm details. we're very confident to where they're going to be, we just
wanted to get out and give you a broadbrush overview of where we are. the president very much believes, as the second said, in taking input. over the next few months we have a lot of discussions going with different groups. >> does that mean taxes will be eliminated? >> yes. >> how about health care? >> mr. secretary, thank you. mr. cohen, either one of you. when you talk about the 8% tax that hits small businesses and investment income, is this your official first attempt, i guess, with this to start pulling back on obamacare? also, what do you say to your fellow republicans who say this tax reform package is more about corporations versus cutting the deficit? >> look, this tax reform package is about growing the economy, creating jobs. it's about the economy. as i started, president trump comes in and talks to the two of
us about economic growth, economic prosperity and jobs and what are we doing to stimulate economic growth? that's how we're looking at this plan. the 3.8% tax on capital gains, dividends and interest, the president looks at that very seriously as being a tax on capital being spent to stimulate economic growth, people putting investment capital to work and people being taxed on their personal businesses. so we're trying to get rid of that to be more stimulative, to put a cap back on the economy for growing jobs. >> is it an attack on obamacare? >> it's to stimulate business investment. we are trying to stimulate business investment. >> first of all, does it pay for itself if this plan is revenue neutral, and secondly, what in here is non-negotiable? this goes to congress and congress comes back with a 20% tax rate or worse, will the
president refuse to sign that? >> let me say, again, the core principles of this, we've been meeting with the house and senate, and they agree 100%. the core businesses make business rates competitive, bring back trillions of dollars to create jobs, simplify personal taxes, create a middle income tax cut. so those core principles are non-negotiable, and that's something that we all feel strongly about. as it relates to will it pay for itself, again, i think, as i've said, we're working on lots of details as to this. we have over 100 people in the treasury that have been working on tax and scoring lots of different scenarios. this will pay for itself with growth and with reduced reduction of different deductions and closing loopholes. >> mr. secretary, if it turns out the congressional estimates won't be paid for, is the president comfortable with that?
will he sign something? >> let me just say again, when we look at the deficit, and the deficit has gone from 10 to $20 trillion in the last administration. that is a problem and the president is concerned about that. this plan is going to lower the debt to gdp. the economic plan under trump will grow the economy and will create massive amounts of revenue, trillions of dollars in additional revenue. let's go in the back. >> if you don't replace some of the revenue adjustment tax, how will you make up for the deficit caused by the reduction in the corporate tax rate? >> again, today we're putting out the core principles which include rates because we think that's a very important part of the plan. we will be working very closely, as i said, with the house and the senate to turn this into a bill that can be passed and the president can sign, and there is
lots and lots of details that are going into how that will pay for itself. >> the territorial tax system, is that adjustment tax? what is it? >> a territorial tax system means that u.s. companies will pay income on income related to the u.s. so it's territorial. u.s. companies will not be subject to worldwide income which has made them uncompetitive. >> is there reason to be concerned that perhaps the republicans might not go along with this just like they didn't fully go along with the obamacare replacement? >> begagain, i think there is at of desire from everybody to pass tax reform. as gary said, we are at a historic moment, and republicans and democrats want to create jobs and want to help the american people, and as i said, the core principles of this we have agreement on and we will
work forward on the details. let's go in the back. >> thank you, mr. secretary. quick question. you bring up repeal of the death tax, the estate tax. this is an issue that's been going on for decades, and it used to be they were always talking about phasing out the death tax over a period of years. groups such as jim martin, 60 plus senior association said they wouldn't accept it and wanted an immediate killing of the death tax. is that what this is going to be, or is this going to be a phaseout measure again? >> right now our initial proposal is to immediately phase out, when this proposal becomes effective, to phase out the death tax immediately. with the implementation of the new tax, the death tax would disappear. >> two questions. this is obviously a statement of core principles. it's just one page.
obviously tax reform would be much more complicated. when will we see the details? when will we see the actual plan? >> we are moving as quickly as we can. so we are working with the house and senate on all the details, and this is -- everybody has an agreement we are going to move this as fast as we can. when we have an agreement, we will release the details and go through it. >> second question, will the president release his tax returns so that -- >> the president has no intention. the president has released plenty of information and i think has given more financial disclosure than anybody else. i think the american population has plenty of information. right there, right there. excuse me, other people have the right to ask questions. >> my question is to either you, mr. secretary, or mr. cohen. you mentioned middle class tax cuts. middle class families watching
this tonight on the news, family of four, median income, $60,000, what does it mean for them? >> it's going to be a tax cut. >> how much? >> it's going to mean a tax cut. you're asking the same question we got asked over here. we will let you know these specific details at the appropriate moment. we are in very robust discussions with the senate, with the house leadership. they are progressing very quickly, and we will continue to give you more details as we have them. >> we're going to take two more. right back there in the fourth row. >> exactly a year ago, then-candidate trump was asked if he believed in raising taxes on the wealthy. he said, i do, i do. including myself, i do. my question is why isn't he doing that and will the president end up paying more or less taxes as a result of this plan? >> let me just comment, i can't comment on the president's tax situation since i don't have access to that, okay? but i would comment that our
objective, okay, is the reduction in taxes will be o offset by significant reduction of deductions in other items so that the effective tax rate, okay, is what we're focused on. why don't we take one more question right here. >> you may not have seen the president's tax returns, but according to our estimations by his 2005 returns that are out there, getting rid of the alternative middle income taxes, he would only pay 5.3% in income taxes. so this could save or benefit the president in his own businesses. >> what this is about is creating jobs and creating economic growth. and that's what massive tax cuts and massive tax reform in simplifying the system is what we're going to do. the a and t is just another example of a third complicated set of rules.
anyway, thank you, everybody. appreciate you being here. >> we are coming to you live on a very busy day in the nation's capitol. this hour trump's tax cut you just heard there right now. steve mnuchin and gary cohen unveiling exactly what donald trump wants to do to affect the biggest tax overhaul in u.s. history. here is what we know so far. it calls for lowering the business tax rate to 15%, doubling the standard deduction and repeeling the estate tax or death tax. here was chief economic adviser gary cohen just moments ago. >> we have a once in a generation opportunity to do something really big. president trump has made tax reform a priority, and we have a republican congress that wants to get it done. the president is going to seize this opportunity by leading the most significant tax reform legislation since 1986, and one of the bigax